Goodman Theatre’s New Stages

Goodman Theatre announces a special staged reading of Roberto

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Bolaño’s epic novel 2666—co-adapted for the stage and co-directed by Goodman Artistic Director Robert Falls and new Goodman Playwright-in-Residence Seth Bockley—on Monday, December 17 at 6pm as part of Goodman’s December 8 – 23 New Stages series (Note: The reading of 2666 will last approximately five hours, including three intermissions). In addition, Buzzer by Tracey Scott Wilson replaces the previously-announced Acquainted with the Night by Keith Reddin, due to a conflict with the playwright’s schedule. Readings of Stutter by Philip Dawkins and The Solid Sand Below by Martín Zimmerman round out a full “industry weekend,” where theatergoers can experience two fully-staged workshop productions (Song for the Disappeared by Chicago-based writer Tanya Saracho and The World of Extreme Happiness by Wasserstein Prize winner Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig) plus four staged readings over three days. An Artist Encounter discussion with playwrights Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, Philip Dawkins and Martín Zimmerman moderated by Director of New Play Development Tanya Palmer takes place Friday, December 14 at 6:30pm. New Stages runs December 8 – 23, 2012; “industry weekend” is December 14-17; tickets are free, but reservations are required: 312.443.3800, GoodmanTheatre.org or visit the box office (170 N. Dearborn).
The cast of Saracho’s Song for the Disappeared—an examination of life on the US/Mexican border—includes Carlo Garcia as Payan; Ricardo Gutierrez as Leo; Yun Pardo as Mila; Lorena Diaz as Adriana; and Alejandra Escalante as Nena. The cast of Cowhig’s The World of Extreme Happines—about migrant workers in China—includes Cindy Im as Ming-Ming; Marissa Lichwick as Sunny; Mia Park as Artemis/Wan Hau; Kevin Reyes as Pete/Mr. Destiny/Ran Feng; Daniel Smith as Lia Han and Ben Wang as Old Lau/Gao Chen.
The Goodman is grateful to those who make it possible to offer the series free of charge. New Stages is supported in part by The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation and The Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation. Goodman Theatre’s Scenemakers Board is a Contributing Sponsor. New work development at the Goodman was instituted by the Lester and Hope Abelson Fund for Artistic Development. Time Warner Foundation is the Major Supporter of New Play Development; the Glasser and Rosenthal Family and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust are Foundation Supporters.
The Davee Foundation is the Major Contributor to Research and Development for New Work; The Joyce Foundation is the Principal Supporter of Artistic Development and Diversity Initiatives. Shawn M. Donnelley is the Grand Benefactor of the New Works Endowment Fund and Prince Charitable Trusts is the leading foundation contributor of this important initiative.
Since its inception in 2004, New Stages has given audiences a first look at more than 50 new plays in development and become the centerpiece of the Goodman’s numerous programs that support living American playwrights. Many works that audiences see on the Goodman’s mainstages have emerged from this program—including this season’s Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men by Dael Orlandersmith and Teddy Ferrara by Christopher Shinn. Working with Artistic Director Robert Falls, the Goodman’s Director of New Play Development Tanya Palmer oversees the Goodman’s efforts to develop new American plays with contemporary theater artists, including: New Stages, the Playwrights Unit and the theater’s new works commissioning program. In addition, Palmer’s work as production dramaturg for new plays includes the Pulitzer Prize–winning Ruined by Lynn Nottage; Chinglish by David Henry Hwang and The Long Red Road by Brett C. Leonard, among many others. Palmer previously served as the director of new play development at Actors Theatre of Louisville, where she led the reading and selection process for the Humana Festival of New American Plays.
A New Stages calendar and more information about the series’ plays and artists follows.
Song for the Disappeared
By Tanya Saracho | Directed by Laurie Woolery
Chicago playwright Tanya Saracho continues her examination of life on the US/Mexican border which began with El Nogalar (co-produced with Teatro Vista in 2011). In Song for the Disappeared, Saracho travels north of the border to introduce us to the Cantú family of McAllen, Texas. Patriarch Leo Cantú is a successful businessman with a young trophy wife who has gone from underpaid secretary to pampered lady of the manor. Leo has two daughters from his former marriage: the strong-willed Adriana, a writer who fled Texas for Chicago, and the fragile, reclusive Nena, who spends her time playing video games and nursing injured animals back to health. Neither daughter has recovered from the recent death of her mother, and the family has not been together since her funeral. But a new crisis—the kidnapping of their baby brother, Javi—forces a reunion, and no one is quite sure how to get Javi back. Tanya Saracho writes for the upcoming Lifetime Television series, Devious Maids. Named “Best New Playwright of 2010” by Chicago magazine, she is a new ensemble member at Victory Gardens Theater, a resident playwright emerita at Chicago Dramatists, a Goodman Theatre Fellow at the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media at Columbia College Chicago, the founder of the Ñ Project, and founder and former Artistic Director of Teatro Luna, Chicago’s all-Latina theater. Plays include Enfrascada; El Nogalar; an adaptation of The House
on Mango Street for Steppenwolf Theatre Company; Our Lady of the Underpass; Surface Day; Jarred (A Hoodoo Comedy); Kita y Fernanda and Quita Mitos.
The World of Extreme Happiness
By Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig | Directed by Jonathan Berry
Savage, tragic and desperately funny, The World of Extreme Happiness is a stirring examination of China—a country in the midst of rapid change—and the courageous individuals struggling to control their own destiny. The play begins in 1992 with Sunny’s birth in a rural village on the Yangtze River. Her parents, who had been praying for a boy, dump her into a slop bucket and leave her to die. But she survives, and at 14 leaves home for the factories in Shenzhen in hopes of transforming her and her family’s lives. Desperate to maximize her capital—her youth—she attends self-help classes at night to learn skills that might get her a coveted office position. But when her dogged attempts to pull herself out of poverty hurt a fellow worker, Sunny begins to question the design of a system she has spent her life trying to master, and starts to fight for an alternative. Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s play Lidless received the Yale Drama Series Award, the Scotsman Fringe First Award, the Keene Prize for Literature and the David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize. In 2011 she was awarded the Wasserstein Prize. Her plays have been produced by Trafalgar Studios 2 in the West End, Page 73 Productions in New York, InterAct Theatre Company in Philadelphia and the Contemporary American Theater Festival in West Virginia.
The Solid Sand Below
By Martín Zimmerman | Directed by Henry Wishcamper
After Julian Flores narrowly escapes a prison sentence he lands in Iraq—where he’s anything but a model soldier. But a close call with an improvised explosive device leaves Julian forever altered, and soon the adrenaline, clarity and intimacy of battle become something he can’t live without—even after he returns home. Martín Zimmerman’s work has been produced or developed at The Kennedy Center, The Playwrights’ Center, the Alliance Theatre, The Gift Theatre Company and Red Tape Theatre, among others. He is a Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis.
Stutter
By Philip Dawkins | Directed by Stuart Carden
Rosemary leads a quiet, unassuming life teaching piano in a small Iowa town. But her world is turned upside down when she discovers she was involved in a terrible injustice during her childhood that happened not only to her, but to other vulnerable children. When she’s asked to join a class action lawsuit, Rosemary must decide where her responsibilities lie—and whether to let the past invade her present. Philip Dawkins’ plays have been seen at About Face Theatre, Dog and Pony Theatre, Chicago Opera Vanguard and Steppenwolf’s First Look series. His play The Homosexuals was nominated for a 2011 Jeff Award for Best New Work.
Buzzer
By Tracey Scott Wilson | Directed by Jessica Thebus
Jackson is a young, successful African American attorney determined to build a life in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of his youth. He returns with his white girlfriend and best friend in tow, but the trio are soon forced to confront their deepest presumptions as racial and sexual tensions—both inside and outside the apartment—quickly rise to the surface. Tracey Scott Wilson previously collaborated with the Goodman on The Good Negro and The Story, which both also appeared at The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival. She is the recipient of the 2001 Helen Merrill Emerging Playwright Award, the 2003 AT&T Onstage Award, the 2004 Whiting Writers Award, the 2004 Kesselring Prize, the 2007 L. Arnold Weissberger Award and the 2007 Time Warner Storytelling Fellowship.
2666
Co-Adapted/Directed by Robert Falls and Seth Bockley
*Note: The reading will last approximately five hours, including three intermissions.
This soaring adaptation of Chilean-born author Roberto Bolaño’s masterpiece begins with a group of hapless European academics hot on the trail of an elusive author—a search that leads them into the dark heart of a Mexican border city where the murders of hundreds of women remain unsolved. The narrative erupts from there into a stunning portrait of the twentieth century that spans more than 100 years and takes us from Spain to Mexico to Germany and beyond in a series of stories that illuminate the power of literature to reflect and transform the world. An unflinching look at the nature of evil, this ambitious new work is not to be missed.
About Goodman Theatre
The Goodman’s 2012/2013 Season features 11 productions on its two mainstages—six in the 856-seat Albert Theatre and three in the 400-seat flexible Owen Theatre—plus a Latino Theatre Festival that includes two additional productions. In addition, the annual New Stages new play series features two fully-staged workshop productions performed in repertory and four staged readings. The full season includes Sweet Bird of Youth by Tennessee Williams, directed by David Cromer (September 14 – October 28 in the Albert); Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men, written and performed by Dael Orlandersmith, directed by Chay Yew (September 29 – October 28 in the Owen); the 35th annual production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, directed by Steve Scott (November 17 – December 29 in the Albert); Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz, directed by Henry Wishcamper (January 12 – February 17, 2013 in the Albert); Teddy Ferrara by Christopher Shinn, directed by Evan Cabnet (February 2 – March 3, 2013 in the Owen); a Latino Theatre Festival in the Owen, including Cuba’s Teatro Buendía’s production of Pedro Páramo by Raquel Carrió, co-directed by Flora Lautén and Henry Godinez and produced in association with the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (March 22 – March 31, 2013), The Happiest Song Plays Last by Quiara Alegría Hudes, directed by Edward Torres (April 13 – May 12, 2013), and Albany Park Theater Project’s production of Home/Land, written collectively by the Albany Park Theater Project teen ensemble and directed collectively by the Albany Park Theater Project artistic staff (June 20 – June 30, 2013); By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage, directed Chuck Smith (April 27 – June 2, 2013 in the Albert); and The Jungle Book, a new musical based on the Disney animated film and the stories of Rudyard Kipling, adapted and directed by Mary Zimmerman (June 21 – July 28, 2013 in the Albert). New Stages runs December 8 – 23, including Song for the Disappeared by Tanya Saracho, directed by Laurie Woolery running in repertory with The World of Extreme Happiness by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, directed by Jonathan Berry. The four staged readings round out the series: Stutter by Philip Dawkins (December 15); The Solid Sand Below by Martín Zimmerman (December 15); Buzzer by Tracey Scott Wilson (December 16); and 2666 co-adapted/directed by Robert Falls and Seth Bockley (December 17).
Goodman Theatre, “the leading regional theater in the nation’s most important theater city” (Time), is a major cultural, educational and economic pillar in Chicago, generating nearly $250 million in economic impact over the past decade in its state-of-the-art two-theater complex on North Dearborn Street. Founded in 1925 and currently under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Falls, “Chicago’s most essential director” (Chicago
Tribune), and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, Chicago’s oldest and largest not-for-profit resident theater has welcomed nearly two million patrons to productions and events—including 10 festivals celebrating playwrights such as David Mamet, August Wilson and Horton Foote, as well as the Latino Theatre Festival—and served legions of students through its Education and Community Engagement programs (including the FREE Student Subscription Series and other interactive programs). The Goodman has earned more than 90 awards for hundreds of productions, including the Pulitzer Prize for Ruined by Lynn Nottage—one of 25 new work Goodman commissions in the last decade. American Airlines is the Exclusive Airline of Goodman Theatre. Ruth Ann M. Gillis is Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Sherry John is President of Women’s Board and Lauren Blair is President of the Scenemakers Board, the Goodman’s young professionals auxiliary group.
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